This petition was formulated by a diverse group of students on campus committed to making Brown University a safer place.
Published 30 April 2014
With inadequate sexual assault policies and lenient treatment of known perpetrators, Brown University tolerates sexual violence on campus. We will not stand for this.
Recent student activism has captured the nation’s attention. All eyes are on Brown. We expect the University’s policies to prioritize students’ safety, and we look forward to working with the Administration on this issue.
We call upon President Christina Paxson, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services and Interim Dean of the College Margaret Klawunn, Provost Mark Schlissel, and Senior Associate Dean J. Allen Ward to publicly endorse the following expectations by May 9, 2014. By May 22, 2014 we ask that they also provide the public with a schedule of concrete actions they plan on taking to address the following:
Statement of Demands
1. Require that all students found culpable of sexual misconduct be, if not expelled, suspended from the University for at least two years, or until the victim in question graduates; whichever is longer.
2. Adopt a definition of affirmative, inclusive consent as the standard for consent in the Student Code of Conduct.
3. Amend the appeals process to allow for appeals made on the basis of unsatisfactory punishments, late-manifesting injuries, evidence of multiple offenses (with the explicit allowance for different victims to bring testimony against the same perpetrator in a single case), and/or other significant factors.
4. Require that all decisions, including appeals, regarding the adjudication of sexual misconduct be evaluated by a panel that includes students rather than by an individual administrator.
5. Expedite the current timeline for Student Code of Conduct Hearings.
6. Implement escalating sanctions for those found in violation of no-contact orders.
7. Hire, in consultation with students, an additional victims’ advocate and coordinator of prevention services, bearing in mind the unique challenges faced by marginalized communities.
8. Hire an independent, University-wide Title IX Coordinator to ensure Brown’s compliance with federal law in a way that best protects students.
9. Provide mandatory, trauma-informed training to Department Chairs and Directors of Graduate and Undergraduate Studieson resources and procedures regarding sexual violence.
10. Re-examine and restructure consent and prevention education for all current students (Undergraduate, Transfer, Resumed Undergraduate Education, Graduate, and Medical students) during orientation and in mandatory programming throughout the academic year.
11. Implement easily accessible campus-wide accountability and feedback systems for all University personnel in contact with victims of sexual violence.
12. Inform victims of their right to utilize the criminal justice system at all points of the reporting and review process, including legal consultation available both through and outside the University.
13. Meet and prioritize the needs of the victim with respect to housing and academic accommodations beginning as soon as the incident is brought to the attention of University personnel, as required by federal law.
14. Develop relationships with Sojourner House, Day One, and other local institutions to provide increased support and assistance to survivors of sexual violence, including but not limited to victims advocacy, counseling and therapy, and legal assistance.
15. Create programs and allocate resources to the Department of Public Safety and Health Education to confront and prevent sexual harassment in all its forms, recognizing that it is a foundational component of rape culture.
16. Formulate programs and policies which address differential victim experiences based on intersecting identities of race, gender identity and expression, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, religious identity, and ability.
We expect that in the implementation of these demands, representative groups of students will be publicly consulted in a way that guarantees the inclusion of student voice, with a focus on those who hold historically and temporally marginalized identities. This consultation should not manifest simply in the formation of committees, but must have transparent mechanisms of accountability wherein the University makes public specific decisions that have taken this student voice into account.
About this petition:
On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, we released a petition for Brown to step up its response to sexual violence and “require that anyone found responsible for sexual misconduct be suspended until the person they have assaulted graduates, or until two years have passed (whichever is longer).” Students sprang to action, and the petition quickly spread, gaining over 10,100 signatures from around the world in only three days with the help of ongoing national media coverage.
This demand was informed by student-led research and what we believe was a bold yet feasible policy change. However, this one demand is not enough. We must commit to overhauling the deficient process that has resulted in Brown’s failure to protect its students, as proven by Lena Sclove’s case. Unfortunately, we know this is not a unique or isolated incident.
We are forced to ask: if rape and strangulation are not enough to permanently expel someone from Brown, what is?
We call on Brown to reform its broken system.
We believe that Brown can lead the movement against sexual assault and rape culture that plague college campuses everywhere.
In the “Imagine Brown 250+’” campaign on its 250th anniversary, Brown seeks to be a visionary - we envision a Brown without rape.
Please sign this petition if you Imagine Brown 250+ with Rape 0.
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